Bhubaneswar: In another step towards fulfilling its target of cashless economy, the Centre today launched India Post Payments Bank (IPPB), country’s largest bank in terms of the network which will use vast postal network to offer door-to-door financial services to people across the country.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the banking facility at a special function in the national capital today.
Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan also launched the payments bank in Bhubaneswar. “Now a postman’s duty would not be limited to fetching letters and parcels, but this historic step by the Modi government will enable them to provide doorstep banking to people across the country,” Pradhan told mediapersons.
Earlier last week, the Union Cabinet had approved 80 percent increase in spending for the new bank to Rs 1,435 crore which sources said will empower it to compete with existing players like Airtel and Paytm Payments Bank.
Here are the most important things to know about the new bank:
The new banking facility will be available at 650 branches of IPPB and at 3,000 access points across the country. Around 11,000 gramin dak sevaks (rural areas) and postmen (urban areas) will provide doorstep services
The bank aims to touch every nook and corner of the country with linkages to all the 1.55 lakh post offices by the end of 2018
IPPB will offer facilities like savings and current accounts, money transfer, direct benefit transfers, bill and utility payments, and enterprise and merchant payments
Customers can carry out RTGS, NEFT, and IMPS transactions to transfer and receive money from any bank account
The new bank will soon launch a mobile app for facilitating online banking and its allied utilities and services like electricity, gas connection and DTH
Customers-individuals/ small businesses-can deposit up to Rs 1 lakh per account in the bank.
On one hand while the new banking facility promises to bring convenience to the people, lack of necessary infrastructure like internet, electricity in many rural postal units of the country especially in cut-off areas could pose a challenge, experts said.
Post Master of Kalyansinghpur in Odisha, Prasant Kumar Pattnaik said his office faces a lot of issues in terms of mobile network and so the feasibility of the new banking facility remains to be seen.
However, allaying fears Santosh Kumar Kamila, Chief Post Master General, Odisha said the government will make all arrangements with service providers to assure necessary infrastructure in inaccessible areas.